Corticosteroids: Uses, Risks, And More

Corticosteroids are steroids made synthetically, it is a man-made anti-inflammatory drug.It is quite similar to the hormone cortisol that our body naturally produces.

Corticosteroids have wide usage, it could be beneficial in treating many acute as well as chronic diseases.

It may have an adverse effect on the body. Before its usage, you should be cautious regarding a few things.

In this article, we will get to know all about corticosteroids, their uses, their effects, and much more. Read ahead to get the insights.

All about corticosteroids


Uses Of Corticosteroids

  1. Chemicals And Medications That Are Beneficial

    The chemical compound corticosteroid is significant and extremely beneficial.

    The adrenal cortex is a part of the adrenal glands’ outermost layer, where natural corticosteroids are produced. Each of our two adrenal glands is located atop a kidney.

    It is possible to buy synthetic corticosteroids to take as medicine. They could be extremely beneficial, just like natural chemicals. The side effects they could have, however, could range from mild to severe.

    The anti-inflammatory drug class of corticosteroids is widely used. Additionally, they are prescribed to reduce immune system activity.

    Both autoimmune diseases and organ transplants benefit from this suppression. In addition, the drugs might be used to ease the discomfort of cancer patients.

    Certain corticosteroids are sometimes used to treat cancer directly in specific circumstances.

  2. The Treatment Of Asthma With Inhaled Corticosteroids

    Patients with asthma are frequently given inhaled corticosteroids as medications.

    The risk of an asthma attack is decreased by taking them daily in small doses to reduce airway inflammation.

    The airways become more sensitive to asthma triggers as they become more inflamed.

    The drug administered through inhalation is referred to as a controller or preventer drug.

    In comparison to their oral counterparts, inhaled corticosteroids frequently have fewer side effects.

    Thrush, a yeast infection that develops inside the mouth as a result of an inhaled corticosteroid, is the most frequent issue it causes.

    To stop this infection from spreading, patients are asked to thoroughly rinse their mouths after each inhaler use for asthma.

    Hoarseness or mouth or sore throats are additional side effects of inhaler use.

    Budesonide, fluticasone, and beclomethasone are three corticosteroids that are frequently used to treat asthma through inhalation.

    Various brand names are used to market the medications.

    A patient with asthma should evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of every medication with their doctor to determine which is best for them.

  3. Rheumatoid Arthritis May Be Helped

    It is an autoimmune disorder to have rheumatoid arthritis.

    Viruses and bacteria that cause disease are typically fought off by the body’s immune system.

    The synovium, also known as the synovial membrane, which lines the joints of rheumatoid arthritis patients, is mistakenly attacked by the immune system.

    Inflammation, lining swelling, and pain are all symptoms of the attack.

    The articular cartilage that protects the ends of the bones in the joint may become damaged if the inflammation lasts for an extended period.

    Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms are frequently lessened or eliminated by corticosteroids, whether taken orally or intravenously.

    Patients with arthritis are frequently prescribed oral corticosteroids like prednisone and prednisolone.

    As discussed in the video below, there is a newly developed class of drugs that could effectively stop the joint damage caused by rheumatoid arthritis.

    However, even if a patient is taking additional medications, corticosteroids might well be used to help.

    The medication situation should be discussed with a doctor by someone who has rheumatoid arthritis.

  4. Potential Support For Certain Cancer Treatments

    The use of corticosteroids in cancer treatment may be beneficial.

    They are frequently prescribed to lessen pain and swelling due to their potent anti-inflammatory properties.

    They may be taken in combination with other medications to lessen nausea and vomiting brought on by chemotherapy.

    They might also make people more hungry.

    Some cancers could be treated with particular corticosteroids that kill cancer cells.

    It’s crucial to remember that while corticosteroids may be a crucial component of treatment for some forms of cancer, they might not be beneficial in all cases.

  5. Additional Applications For The Drugs

    In comparison to the way they are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, corticosteroids are less frequently used to treat osteoarthritis.

    However, they are every once in a while injected into the afflicted joints of individuals with osteoarthritis, and they have occasionally offered momentary pain relief.

    The phrase “wear and tear” is frequently used to describe osteoarthritis. Joint cushioning is lost as a result of articular cartilage breakdown.

    The inflammatory process could well be associated with the disorder even though it is not typically thought of as a disease that happens to involve inflammation.

    In medical circles, the notion that osteoarthritis is accompanied by inflammation appears to be spreading.

  6. The Use Of Eye Drops, Nasal Sprays, And Allergies

    It is occasionally recommended to use corticosteroid nasal sprays to treat allergy symptoms like runny and stuffy noses, itchy nasal passages, and sneezing.

    Nasal burning or occasionally nosebleeds are just a few of the side effects that the drugs may have.

    A corticosteroid nose spray could leave some users with an unpleasant taste or odor.

    Although they are less frequent than those brought on by oral medications.

Negative Effects Of Corticosteroids

When taken orally for a brief period, corticosteroids could have negative side effects such as-

High blood sugar, fluid retention, the “moon face” rounding of the face, sleeplessness, euphoria, depressed mood, anxiousness, and manic depression.

Oral corticosteroids could have long-term effects on the body, such as-

Softening or destruction of joints, diabetes, unusual weight around the trunk, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis that could lead to fractures, Cushing’s syndrome, glaucoma, as well as cataracts.

Because oral corticosteroids suppress the immune system, people who take them are more prone to infection.

While taking corticosteroids, keep your distance from sick people and wash your hands frequently.

Changes in mood, aggressive behavior, irritability, or nervousness are a few examples of the psychological side effects that corticosteroids may have when taken orally.

Rarely, allergic reactions could also be brought on by corticosteroids.

If you experience breathing difficulties or facial, throat, eye, lip, or tongue swelling, seek medical attention right away.

Adjusting To Side Effects

Corticosteroid side effects are less likely to occur when taken in smaller doses for shorter periods.

The least amount of medication that will still be effective will always be recommended by doctors.

Taking corticosteroids safely could be made easier by following some advice, such as:

  • Take precautions to avoid infections, such as getting a flu shot and protection and care for open wounds
  • Maintaining strong bones through appropriate exercise, a nutrient-dense diet, as well as, for elderly individuals, vitamin and mineral supplements
  • Take measures to prevent getting pregnant
  • Do have routine vision tests
  • keeping an eye out for indications of water retention, like swollen ankles
  • Taking medication as directed by a doctor
  • To lessen the chance of developing thin skin, use a retinoid cream together with corticosteroid creams, gels, or lotions.
  • The probability of complications, such as symptoms of withdrawal, could be decreased by avoiding abrupt dosage changes.

Contraindications Of Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids should not be used if you have or using the following

  • Allergy to any of the formulation’s ingredients
  • Using immunosuppressive doses
  • Administering live or live-attenuated vaccines concurrently
  • Having osteopenia
  • Unregulated hyperglycemia
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Glaucoma
  • Joint infections
  • Uncontrolled hypertension
  • Herpes simplex keratitis, or varicella.
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Viral or bacterial infections that are resistant to anti-infectives, and peptic ulcer disease

Continual Administration Of The Corticosteroids

A long-term user of oral corticosteroids may experience acne, osteoporosis, muscle wasting, cataracts, high blood sugar, bruising of the skin, and slow wound healing.

Because the corticosteroid suppresses the immune system, the patient may also develop stomach ulcers and develop infections more frequently.

Growth may slow down in kids and teenagers.

Despite the potential side effects, using a corticosteroid medication is frequently very beneficial.

If a patient decides to stop taking the medication, a physician’s advice should be followed to gradually reduce usage.

The adrenal glands’ natural production of cortisol may be decreased by synthetic corticosteroids.

The patient could avoid unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and allow the adrenal glands to gradually recover with a gradual dose reduction.


As Corticosteroids are not natural hormones, they are steroids which artificially made so they may affect your body or you may experience its side effects. 

But it could be beneficial for your health and it may also be used to treat many health conditions such as arthritis, asthma, and many others.

You should be careful regarding its usage because long-term usage could affect your body. So consult your doctor before using corticosteroids.